Animation Tool Shelf

ml_shelf

This month’s tool is a bit of a punt (it’s been a crazy busy month), but something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s all the animation tools bundled as a shelf, with fancy icons! I don’t know why the icons have been slowly breaking on the download page, another bug for the list, but I figured they probably aren’t downloaded much anyway. This I figured might be a way for people to try out all the tools without having to download them all individually. Here you go, I promise next month’s tool will be a real tool.

Animation Shelf
Animation Shelf
ml_animationShelf.zip
Version: 2
146.1 KiB
27 Downloads
Details
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Bye For Now, Weta

Yesterday was my last day at Weta for now, I’ve taken a new gig for a change of scenery on a project that I’m pretty excited about. More on that later.

P1170559

I was given a traditional leaving present from the animation department, this beautiful greenstone necklace. I’m grateful for my time at Weta and the friends I’ve made there, and I hope to be back some day.

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Time for another Thank You!

The latest round of Patreon supporters include a lot of familiar names (and a lot of talented animators). Thank you, friends!

Todd Elliot
Carmelo Leggiero
Andrew Park
Jesse Vickery
Dan R. Paulsen

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Twit

Against all better judgement, I’ve started a Twitter account.

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New Crowdfunded Tool: Tangent Weight

Hello again, another month, another tool! I’m posting this one a bit early, because any day now my family is going to be suddenly indisposed for a while.

This months tool is a small one, but is based on another workflow which I wish was a bit easier and more integrated into maya. When controlling your spacing, rather than adding keys, sometimes it can be nice to adjust tangents instead. The issue with adjusting tangents by hand is that you have to set the whole curve to weighted, and then you can’t easily change the length of a tangent without also adjusting the angle.

tangentWeights

With this tool, you adjust tangent weight up or down without having to select the tangents. As an example, to make a classic bouncing ball curve, you’d select the trough keys and decrease the tangents, then select the peak keys and increase the tangents.

tangentWeightAnimation

For me this works best to assign to a hotkey, so you can quickly increase and decrease tangents incrementally. Enjoy!

Tangent Weight
Tangent Weight
ml_tangentWeight.py
Version: 3
6.3 KiB
91 Downloads
Details

Thanks again to my Patreon contributors for making this possible!

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Bad Bob Puppet

CGSpectrum has made available for free another rig that I helped out with, named Bad Bob:

BadBob01

Grab him here: www.cgspectrum.edu.au/bad-bob-animation-rig

(Have a look at Tiger too if you haven’t already.)

 

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New Crowdfunded Tool: AnimCurveEditor

Happy Leap-Day! This month’s tool is a collection of lots of little tools for editing animation curves. It’s not too flash, but I’m hoping to make up for that with volume. It’s divided into 6 sections: for offsetting, cutting, scaling in time, scaling value, clamping values, and clean-up. Each section is a tab with it’s own options and info, it all looks a bit busy for a UI but hopefully it will be self-explanatory.

animCurveEditUI

The workflows promoted by this tool are all about editing animation curves as a whole, rather than individual keys. Maya doesn’t have great workflows for editing large numbers of keys, for example offsetting all the animation in your scene. There can be a lot of room for error in finding your keys, selecting them all, and then editing them in a precise way. For a long time I had a bunch of little code snippets lying around for doing these sort of operations, and this tool is a way to finally bring them all together and polish them up in one place. Many of the operations are what you might expect to see in a more NLE toolset, just not as fancy.

animCurveEditDropDown

The core of the workflow is a drop-down menu for choosing which curves to operate on. Selected Nodes, Selected Channels, Hierarchy is a whole puppet, Graph Editor is just the curves you have shown in the graph editor, and Entire Scene will affect all the animation in the scene. This setting sets which animation the tools operate on. From there, choose your tab, set your options, and scale, slip or slice away. If there’s common operations you want to save, just set your settings and right-click the button to save it as a shelf button or hotkey.

In order to get this working, I had to do an update to ml_utilities, so make sure you grab that as well or else it will error.

Anim Curve Editor
Anim Curve Editor
ml_animCurveEditor.py
Version: 2
21.4 KiB
259 Downloads
Details
ML Utilities
ML Utilities
ml_utilities.py
Version: 17
66.9 KiB
4018 Downloads
Details

Thanks again to my Patreon backers for the motivation, enjoy and let me know if anything is unclear or if you come across any bugs.

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Thanks!

The latest Patreon contributors:

Richard
Aron Durkin
Sreemanendu Bhatta

Thanks guys! I appreciate the support.

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New Tool: ml_toolbox

Courtesy of my Patreon supporters, I’ve uploaded the first tool of 2016, ml_toolbox!

ml_toolbox is a utility for organizing scripts in maya. It came about from having a very crowded scripts directory, with no good way to organize or group scripts on disk and also have them easily accessible in maya. I like shelves, but they take some setting up, and can get crowded. The idea with this is that you organize your scripts into folders, and then those folders are used to generate menus in maya.

To try it out, if you download ml_toolbox.zip, you’ll get the script and the required root folder (ml_toolbox_menu). It comes with a few example scripts which are organized in maya’s default folders already. Extract the script and folder to your scripts directory, and run import ml_toolbox;ml_toolbox.main(), and you’ll see the scripts in the folders show up in maya’s menus (File, Create, etc.). They’re prefixed with a * for quick identification.

From there, just create new folders and add your own scripts to them. If you want to get rid of a menu, just move it or delete it. If a folder matches an existing Maya menu name, the tools will be added to that menu, if it doesn’t, a new menu will be created. The only requirement for the scripts is for mel files the name of the procedure needs to be the same as the name of the file (which is generally the case), and for python scripts the primary function should be called main() or ui(). See the header of the script for more info on advanced use, or I can go into more detail if people would like. All the scripts on this site should work fine with it.

Toolbox
Toolbox
ml_toolbox.zip
Version: 4
31.6 KiB
172 Downloads
Details

And last, I have to mention that I’m writing this an hour before midnight on the last day of January, and so I know I definitely would have shirked this deadline without the Patreon supporters, so I can say that the experiment is working so far. Thank you guys! Time to start thinking about next months tool…

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Thanks Supporters!

Thanks to more of you fine people:

Carsten Seller
Duncan Rudd

Ruaraidh Gillies

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